Train2Game E3 news: Microsoft goes Kinect heavy

Mass Effect 3 will have Kinect support

Microsoft’s two hour E3 presentation focused on a range of improvements and new uses for Kinect.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, the hands free motion controller broke the 10 million sales barriers in March.  Microsoft’s E3 conference shows their looking to both consolidate and increase this market with Kinect news for both hardcore games and more casual applications.

Massive upcoming titles including Mass Effect 3 will see Kinect integrated into gameplay with the use of voice recognition technology.  It’ll mostly be used for selecting dialogue during conversations, with the option of commanding squad mates too. Of course, Mass Effect 3 will still feature regular control.

The introduction of Kinect compatibility for Mass Effect 3 does two things; firstly it allows Microsoft to take a step towards bringing Kinect to a hardcore audience – the Bioware title is highly anticipated by Train2Game forum users – while the voice commands are step towards making gaming a more interactive experience.

Interestingly, the Train2Game blog reported in April that Kinect developer Rare believe that voice commands are the future. The future may be here with Mass Effect 3 is released next year.

Microsoft’s E3 conference also revealed that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will be adding Kinect compatibility. Players will be using it to customise weapons and then test them on a virtual shooting range. It’ll be interesting to see how it works first hand, and then to see if’s implemented for the full-game. Again, it’s evidence of Microsoft attempting to bring Kinect to the hardcore.

Kinect Star Wars

However, in what may be disappointing news for Train2Game students, the Kinect Star Wars demo showed that it appears to be an on the rails game with a lightsaber instead of a gun – not the hardcore title many were looking for.

The press event also demonstrated that Microsoft are very much attempting to use Kinect to tap into the casual market that the Nintendo Wii has held for some time.  Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, and Kinect Fun Labs all demonstrated a family friendly direction for Kinect. We also got more casual titles in the form of Kinect Sports 2 and Dance Central 2.

At least when it came to non-Kinect titles there was something for the hardcore gamer, with live demos of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Tomb Raider looking very impressive. It very much looks like the Train2Game blog is justified in listing Tomb Raider as one of the most anticipated games of the year. (That is, if it’s released this year. There’s no date yet)

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Kinect heavy nature of the Microsoft presentation? Does it demonstrate Kinect is the future of the industry? Or are Microsoft just attempting to force it into as many titles as possible? How would you implement it into ‘hardcore’ games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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